Jagdeo has no moral authority to speak on corruption – Badal

Jagdeo has no moral authority to speak on corruption – Badal

Bharrat Jagdeo

Robert Badal

Local businessman, Robert Badal has declared that this is the last time he will respond to former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, who is “fading into insignificance.”

However, in his “last” response, Badal insisted that he manages all his businesses “above board.” Badal is the owner of Pegasus Hotel and the majority shareholder of Guyana Stockfeeds Limited.

The fallout between Jagdeo and Badal goes way back. However, it was recently provoked when Jagdeo realized that Government lost 31 percent of ownership it had in Guyana Stockfeeds.       

Jagdeo has since accused Badal of defrauding the State via his practice of transfer pricing.

On Thursday, at Jagdeo’s weekly press conference, said that Badal is given special treatment because of his relationship with the government.

Read: https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2018/07/07/badal-is-involved-in-transfer-pricing-and-gra-is-ignoring-it-jagdeo-claims/.

Yesterday, in an invited comment, Badal refuted the allegations of transfer pricing. He said, “I really do not want to comment on the filthy comments of Jagdeo. He is in the archive, struggling for survival and his continued obsession with me and business will not get him anywhere.”

Badal said that he is busy with his business and does not want to keep taking time out to humour Jagdeo.

However, he declared, “I received no favour from the government and I never financed any government. I do my business; it is audited and I do all my dealings straight; it is above board.

“I pay my fair share of taxes ever year. I employ more than 500 people. I make significant contribution to the Guyana economy. So I have no time to spend on answering his obsession over me. All these things that Jagdeo is talking about with transfer pricing and so on were addressed many years ago at the shareholders meeting. This is no business of Jagdeo nor the PPP.”

Badal said that Jagdeo should be more concerned about the turn his life can take if justice is to take its course. “He should be more concerned that if the government of the day is to look into his affairs and his acts of corruption during his tenure then he would be behind bars.

“In particular, investigations should be done into the giving away of the bauxite assets in Kwakwani, the giving away of over 100 acres of land to his friend at Liliendaal at below market price.”

Badal continued, “He gave another friend the Sanata Textile property at a fraction of its value; he gave away Duke Lodge to another friend for just over $100M after the government spent over $90M on the property.

“Then there is the selling of an additional 30 percent of GPC shares to the Ramroop Group at below market value and without any tender.” This same group was given billions of dollars in contracts at prices more than four times its cost under a sole sourcing arrangement.

Badal said that the train of corrupt deals also included 10 acres to MovieTowne below market value and without a transparent process, and land to himself and friends at Pradoville 2.

Further, the businessman said that Jagdeo needs to account for the transfer of 30 percent shares in GT&T without receiving full payment.

“US$5M is still outstanding. This is fraud…His obsession prompted him to spend US$60M of taxpayers’ money on the Marriott Hotel and then hatched a plot for his nominee to buy its shares for US$8M.

Each of these transactions was directed by him and executed by his cohorts Winston Brassington and the former Finance Minister. In other countries, former presidents and public officials are convicted for a fraction of these corrupt acts.

“If the Coalition Government were serious in investigating these transactions, the former President would have suffered the same fate as the former Prime Minister of Malaysia,” said Badal.

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